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David Sosa, Chair 2210 Speedway, WAG 316, Stop C3500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4857

Alexander Mourelatos

Professor Emeritus PhD, Yale

Alexander Mourelatos


  • Phone: (512) 471-6749
  • Office: WAG 200C
  • Office Hours: By appt. only.
  • Campus Mail Code: C3500


Fields: ancient philosophy, early Greek science, philosophical linguistics

An internationally renowned specialist in the pre-Socratics and ancient Greek cosmology, he has published widely in classics, ancient philosophy, ancient science, and linguistics. He is author of The Route of Parmenides (1970; expanded and revised edn. Parmenides Publishing, 2008), and editor of an influential collection on The Pre-Socratics (revised edition, Princeton, 1993). He founded, and for many years directed, the Joint Classics-Philosophy Program in Ancient Philosophy. He has held major academic fellowships, NEH, ACLS, and Guggenheim; has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J.; and has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Athens, Greece (1994), and inducted as corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, Greece (2000). 





Ancient philosophy, early Greek science, philosophical linguistics

PHL 329K • History Of Ancient Philosophy

43170-43180 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 302
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This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We’ll focus on three major thinkers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; and we’ll examine their views and arguments on some central questions about human conduct, the natural world, and our knowledge of both. We’ll begin with a brief look at some influential earlier figures known as Presocratics and Sophists, and we’ll end with a brief look at some enduring ideas of Epicurus. The emphasis throughout will be on analyzing both what these thinkers say and their reasons for saying it. The main goal is not to memorize information but to develop a critical understanding of some problems and arguments that remain very much alive today.

PHL 381 • Three Ancient Cosmologists

43317 • Spring 2010
Meets TH 500pm-800pm WAG 210
(also listed as GK 390 )
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Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.



Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.


Course Description

Hellenistic philosophy, that is of the period between the death of Aristotle and (traditionally at least) 31 BC, was for centuries unjustly neglected. Over the past thirty years or so much has been done to remedy that neglect, and the distinctive schools of the period (Epicurean, Stoic, Academic, Pyrrhonian) are now recognized as continuing much of enduring and intrinsic interest. Study of the period is hampered by the fact that, with rare exceptions, their works are known only through later citations and attestations, which complicates the process of interpretation. But it is still a project well worthwhile. This course will examine key ideas and arguments from all of these schools, and the contributions they made (and debates they engaged in) concerning epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic and mind (among other things).



1 term paper (90%)

participation and/or presentation (10%)



A.A. Long, D.N. Sedley The Hellenistic Philosophers Vol. 1 (1987)

   Cambridge University Press ISBN: 0521275563


This course satisfied the History requirement.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

42420-42430 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 214
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This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy. The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems. Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge. The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme.

PHL 375M • Early Greek Philosophy-W

42509 • Spring 2009
Meets T 330pm-630pm GAR 1.134
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The aim of the course is to attain a holistic grasp of Humeʼs philosophy. Philosophy courses are often divided by subject area (metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of mind, and so on). Hume wrote on all the main topics in philosophy, and our goal is not only to evaluate his individual contributions, but also to see how the views on various topics fit together. The class presupposes some knowledge of philosophy, but not of Humeʼs work. 

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